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Policy Regarding Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability
Students who are seeking support services from
Whitworth on the basis of a diagnosed specific learning disability(ies)
are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation
of a learning disability consists of providing professional psychological
or educational testing results and evaluation, including a written report
which reflects the individual's present level of cognitive processing
and his/her achievement level. The cost and responsibility for providing
this professional documentation shall be borne
solely by the student.
The following guidelines are provided in the best
interest of assuring that the evaluation and the report are current and
appropriate for documenting eligibility. Documentation presented to the
Educational Support Services (ESS) will remain in a private confidential
file in the ESS office. The ESS coordinator is available to consult with
diagnosticians regarding any of these guidelines. Documentation must:
- Be prepared by a professional QUALIFIED
BY EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE to diagnose learning disabilities,
which would include but not limited to: a licensed neuropsychologist
or psychologist; clinical or educational psychologist; learning disability
specialist or other appropriate professional certified to administer
standardized psychological tests/statements identified below. Experience
in evaluation of adults with learning
disabilities is an essential requirement in this process.
- Be COMPREHENSIVE.
All tests administered must be age appropriate, nationally normed, individually
APTITUDE. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Third Edition
(WAIS-III) with subtest scores is preferred. The Woodcock-Johnson
Psycho-Educational Battery Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable. WJ Reading Mastery 3rd Ed.
ACHIEVEMENT. Current levels of functioning in all areas in which student
accommodations are requested. Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Revised: Tests
of Achievement; Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK); or
specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language
3 (TOWL-3), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests Revised 3rd
Ed. or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. (
The Wide Range Achievement Test Revised is NOT a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is
PROCESSING ABILITIES. Specific areas of information processing
(e.g. short and long term memory, sequential memory, auditory
and visual perception/processing, (WMS-III) and/or subtests
from the WAIS III, the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive
Ability, or neuropsychological test instruments assessing
cognitive domain above are acceptable.
The above tests are NOT intended to be an exhaustive list or restrict assessments in other
pertinent and helpful areas such as vocational interest, aptitudes
and learning strengths. Rather they are guidelines to direct the
areas needing assessment.
- BE CURRENT.
In most cases, this means within the past three years (36 months). Since assessment constitutes the basis for determining
reasonable accommodations, it is in the student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision-making about a student's
needs for accommodations in an academically competitive environment.
Retesting may not be required if a qualified medical professional determines
it is not medically necessary.
- Present CLEAR AND SPECIFIC
EVIDENCE, which identifies and states specific learning disabilities.
Individual "learning styles" and "learning differences" in and of themselves
do NOT specify a documented learning disability.
- INCLUDE in the
report: the exact instruments used, any exceptions to standardized procedures,
test score data in percentiles or standard scores, a written interpretation
of the results by the professional doing the evaluation, the name of
the evaluation/professional and dates of testing.
- Provide a list of recommended ACADEMIC
ACCOMMODATIONS, with SUPPORTING DATA from the assessment, which is specific to the individual assessed. Requests
which are not supported by the documentation may not be approved without
additional verification and documentation (to be determined by the institution's
Students should contact the Whitworth Educational Support
Services Office at 509.777.4534 with any questions or concerns regarding
documentation of specific learning disabilities.